Letter written to Sonia being misconstrued, says Azad | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Letter written to Sonia being misconstrued, says Azad

Aug 25, 2020 12:23 AM IST

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday that a letter signed by him and 22 other party leaders was being misconstrued because only parts of the document, addressed to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi, were out in the public domain.

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Speaking to HT after an acrimonious Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, he also clarified that the letter, which criticised the party’s functioning and called for more transparent internal processes, was not against Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi.

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“What I said at the working committee meeting was that unfortunately most of the people have not seen the full text of the letter. Because in the leak, which is unfortunate, only some portion of the letter has come out. Without going into the full text of the letter, some of our Congress colleagues yesterday said that this was being done at the behest of the BJP. I have said that if any of those people and leaders will prove that it was done at the behest of the BJP, I will resign. In that context, I said that I will resign if they prove it and I did not ask Rahul Gandhi to prove that. I have not resigned,” he said.

In the letter, Azad and others sought a complete overhaul of the organisation, including full-time president, a parliamentary board if a someone outside the Gandhi family became the party chief and collective leadership. Azad had sent the letter to Sonia Gandhi on August 9 and then a reminder on August 17, after which Sonia Gandhi wrote to party general secretary in-charge of organisation, KC Venugopal, to begin deliberations to put in place a process to elect a new president. Azad read the letter out at the Congress working committee meeting on Monday.

Azad said there were rumours for the past one month that Rahul Gandhi did not want to return as Congress president and that Sonia Gandhi did not want to continue as the party’s interim chief beyond August 10, when she completed one-year term.

There were also suggestions that Sonia Gandhi might appoint somebody to the post and the letter was written in that context, he told the CWC.

Azad said the letter was written to urge the Congress president to discuss and consult with them before appointing somebody to the post. Should a third person be appointed to the top post he or she has to do certain things such as form the parliamentary board, be active and have collective leadership, he told the CWC.

Azad further said the letter was actually dos and don’ts for the third person and that they should be consulted before appointing anybody because of the importance of the position of party president.

Addressing a news conference at the party headquarters in Delhi after the meeting, Venugopal said Azad told him that “all of them are part and parcel” of the CWC resolution, which noted, among other things, that inner-party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or in public fora. “The CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora in the interest of propriety and discipline,” the resolution read.

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